When engaging in physical activity or playing contact sports like ice hockey, field hockey, or water polo, essential protective gear like a mouthguard becomes necessary. Not only do they safeguard your teeth from sports-related injury, but they are also handy for teeth grinders.
If you’re curious about how much they are, read on for a helpful guide.
Why Should You Invest in a Mouth Guard?
A mouth guard, also known as a dental guard, is an essential protective equipment. It keeps your upper teeth safe from various risks and hazards while you engage in contact sports or when you’re suffering from nighttime clenching or grinding teeth.
Below are several reasons why investing in a mouthguard is beneficial:
- Prevention of Dental Injuries. How much does the cost of mouth guards compare to dental injuries? Considerably less. Mouth guards, or dental guards, are a far cheaper option than replacing a broken or chipped tooth. Also, they protect your teeth from damage during contact sports such as field hockey, mountain biking, and water polo.
- Wide Variety to Choose From. There are different types of mouth guards available. You can choose from custom-made mouth guards, boil-and-bite mouth guards, or even stock mouth protectors. All these varieties cater to your specific needs.
- Customization for Maximum Protection. Custom mouth guards, made from a detailed dental impression using an impression kit, provide the best fit and protection. A dental professional typically creates this type for you, ensuring the guard fits perfectly onto your upper teeth.
- Management of Teeth Clenching and Grinding. Unconscious teeth grinding or clenching, especially during sleep, can lead to misaligned teeth, tooth wear, and even Temporomandibular Joint disorder. The use of a custom night guard can significantly reduce this risk.
- Easy Maintenance. How do you clean a mouth guard? It’s simple—wash it with soapy water and rinse with cool water. However, one crucial tip is to avoid hot water and direct sunlight to prevent them from deforming.
- Cost-Effectiveness. How much are mouth guards compared to replacing a broken tooth? Dental night guards are an affordable insurance plan for your teeth, providing a preventive measure against potential dental injuries. It’s a one-time investment that can save you from expensive treatment options if you damage a tooth.
- Sports-Related Protection. An athletic mouthguard is crucial for professional athletes in physical sports, providing necessary protection for the teeth and soft tissues.
- Aiding Sleep Apnea. Apart from grinding and clenching, custom-made night guards can also help manage mild cases of sleep apnea. Certain styles of dental guards can keep the airway open and reduce snoring.
- Dental Insurance and Mouth Guards. Often, dental insurance covers a portion or the full cost of custom-made mouthguards, making them one of the cheapest options for maximum dental protection.
How Much Do Mouth Guards Cost?
Several factors influence the prices of mouthguards. However, the cost can range between $10 to $700. At the lower end of the spectrum, you can find standard, over-the-counter mouthguards with prices that are usually between $10 and $50. For a personalized fit, dentist-made mouthguards can be a considerably more costly investment, ranging from $100 to $700.
Factors affecting the cost differences include the type of material employed in manufacturing the mouth guard, the level of customization required, and the region in which you reside, as dental pricing varies significantly from place to place.
What Are the Different Types of Mouth Guards and Their Cost?
There are three primary types of mouthguards available: stock mouthguards, boil-and-bite mouthguards, and custom-made mouthguards.
1. Stock Mouthguards
Ready-to-wear stock mouth protectors are the most affordable among the three types. They typically cost a few dollars, making them easily accessible to everyone. However, being pre-formed, they may not provide an exact fit, which could make them uncomfortable for some users. Therefore, they are not recommended for intense physical or recreational activities as the grip may not suffice.
2. Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards
Boil-and-bite mouthguards are crafted from a thermoplastic material. You soften them in hot water and bite down, creating an impression of your upper teeth. This process helps achieve a better fit compared to stock variants. They are a bit more expensive and usually priced under $50.
3. Custom-Made Mouth Guards
If you’re wondering, “How much do custom mouth guards cost?” it varies significantly depending on the dental professional. Prices generally range from $200-$500. These custom-made dental guards, entailing fitting by professional dental specialists, are the most comfortable and effective in providing protection. They are recommended for individuals with higher levels of physical activity or those requiring a guard for clenching or grinding teeth.
What Factors Influence the Cost of Mouth Guards?
How much are mouthguards? Given these dental appliances’ essential role, this is a frequently asked question. Determining the exact cost can be tricky due to various influencing factors such as:
- Type of Mouth Guard. There is a wide range of mouth guard types available. Some are meant for sports protection, others for preventing teeth grinding or sleep apnea, and their type dictates the price.
- Materials Used in Manufacturing. Custom-made mouthguards are often made of more durable materials, making them more expensive than other types, such as boil-and-bite or stock mouth protectors.
- Durability of the Mouth Guard. The life expectancy of a mouth guard can influence its cost. Those made to be long-lasting, like professional-fit dental guards, are more expensive than those with lesser durability.
- Level of Protection Provided. The extent of safety a mouth guard offers can define its cost. For example, custom-made mouthguards designed for high-impact sports like ice hockey and water polo might have a higher price tag due to their superior protection levels.
- Full or Partial Guard. A full mouth guard that covers all upper teeth might be pricier than a partial mouth guard, which covers specific teeth only.
- Complexity of Dental Impression. Custom-made night guards require a dental impression for a perfect fit. The more complex the dental impression process, which utilizes dental putty or removable appliances, the higher the cost.
- Intended Recreational Activities. The purpose of the mouth guard also matters when determining the price. Sports with a high risk for dental injuries, such as mountain biking, field hockey, or ice hockey, may require more expensive guards due to the maximum protection they require.
- Type of Night Guard. Different types of night guards exist for varying degrees of tooth grinding, from moderate to heavy. The severity of grinding often dictates the type of guard required, influencing the cost.
- Dental Insurance. If a patient has a dental insurance plan, it could cover a portion of the mouth guard’s cost, making it more affordable.
- Comfort and Fit. A comfortable night guard, especially a custom mouth guard, often costs more than one-size-fits-all guards or boil-and-bite mouth guards due to the additional work required for customization.
Note: Remember that you should always seek advice from a medical professional before settling on the type of mouth guard to purchase.
How Do You Properly Care for Your Mouth Guard?
Taking care of your mouthguard is crucial for extending its lifespan. Here is how you can maintain your mouthguard:
- Rinse It Thoroughly. It’s essential to rinse your mouthguard before and after each use. Preferably, use soapy water for a detailed cleaning.
- Use a Sturdy Protective Case. Store your mouth guard in a sturdy, ventilated protective case when not in use. The case not only protects the dental appliance, but its ventilation helps prevent bacterial build-up, too.
- Avoid Heat Sources. Exposing your mouth guard to direct sunlight or hot water could warp it.
- Do Not Chew or Distort. Resist the temptation to chew on your mouth guard. Chewing or distorting it can affect how well it fits on your upper teeth and protect against dental injuries.
- Regularly Check for Signs of Wear. Replace your mouth guard if it shows visible signs of wear. Worn-down dental guards cannot offer the same teeth protection as newer ones.
- Have Regular Dental Checkups. Get your dental appliances checked by a medical professional during your regular dental checkups. They can determine if the mouthguard still fits well or needs replacement.
Secure Your Smile With a Mouthguard
Investing in a good quality mouthguard is like buying insurance for your teeth—it might not seem so exciting, but when an accident happens, it’ll be an essential piece of gear. Whether you’re a sports enthusiast or mountain biker, or need a professional-fit dental guard for clenching or grinding teeth, getting a sturdy, comfortable, and reliable mouth guard should be on your priority list. Remember, health is wealth—and that includes dental health, too.
Ready to protect your teeth with the right mouthguard? Contact us today or schedule an appointment with our dental professionals for personalized advice and solutions.